Date Archives 2013

Beautiful Imaginary European Scenes by Japanese Illustrator Fumio Watanabe

Fumio Watanabe

One of my favorite places to seek inspiration is the Tokyo Illustrators Society. Set up in 1988, they have an amazing roster of members, all of whom are producing a great range of work. One artist who I recently discovered is Fumio Watanabe and I absolutely love his work. Hoping to find out a little more about him, I googled his name and was amused to discover that one of the only English-language pieces written about him comes from this very site! It would seem that myself and Bobby have very similar tastes! Anyway, since the last time we checked in with Fumio he has continued to produce some really wonderful work and so I thought it was time that I shared some more of his work with you.

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London typeface by Antonio Rodrigues


I stumbled upon one of the more unique (but still usable) typefaces I’ve seen in a while this week. London is an elegant, Gatsby-esque display typeface with a pleasant use of negative space.

I wasn’t surprised to find out who was behind this polished typeface. You’ve probably seen some of freelance designer Antonio Rodrigues Jr.’s other work before, his type illustrations are all over creative aggregation sites. You may recognize his project Better With Flowers, one of my personal favorites, or another project, Stay.

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Weekend Listening: Four Tet, live in Tokyo

Found this great live mix of Four Tet playing at the Hostess Club Weekender at the Yebisu Garden Hall in Tokyo, Japan. It’s a really phenomenal mix, going to be playing this all weekend.

Four Tet, live in Tokyo

Adorable Illustrations in Marc Boutavant’s ‘Train Puzzle’

Marc Boutavant  - Train Puzzle

One of the great contemporary French picture book illustrators is Marc Boutavant. Originally from Burgundy but now living in Paris, Marc creates great retro-inspired illustrations filled with wonderful characters who all seem to burst with personality. Best known for his series of Mouk books (and their spin-off TV show), Marc’s illustrations remind me of the work of Richard Scarry – particularly in their liveliness and the sense of bustling energy in all of his picture. I just love their retro-inspired charm!

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The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Hamish Robertson

Wallpaper by Hamish Robertson - iPhone, iPad, Desktop

Hamish Robertson

I’m envious of my friend Hamish Robertson and the tiny empire he’s started. For a long time he’d spoken about starting a shop of interesting products and collaborations, odd projects of items he’s wanted but could never find elsewhere. So he started Vacation Days to satisfy his creative itch.

One of my favorite pieces of his are his crystal and rock prints, which are sort of a blown up, abstract take on these natural beauties. I figured they’d make a great wallpaper, and as evidenced by the image above, they certainly do. They also fit with our rather monochromatic theme today. You can snag a print for yourself by clicking here.

Also, if you’re in Los Angeles he’s having a show opening at Mohawk General Store in Pasadena, tomorrow night from 7 to 9pm.

Mohawk General Store
December 5th, from 7pm to 9pm
24 Smith Alley, Old Pasadena
On display through the end of year

‘The Birds’ – Terryfying Black and White Illustrations by Stuart Patience

Stuart Patience - The Birds

The thought of being attacked by a large flock of birds becomes somehow even more terrifying when seen in this triptych of illustrations created by the London-based illustrator Stuart Patience. Inspired by Hitchcock’s The Birds, Stuart’s series displays how powerful black and white imagery can be, while his crisp and clean lines add a sharpness that can nearly be felt. His technical skill are really impressive, but it never over-shadows the sheer terrifying nature of the imagery. I love it!

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Fonta by Kayac design studio creates a handwritten collaborative web font


Fonta is a website that encourages anyone to digitally write one of the 6941 characters on the site. On the landing page are numerous tiles with characters on them. Some tiles have faint grey outlines as guides for characters yet to be written, others have been written over by different users. Fonta’s driving vision is that a complete publicly generated font will eventually be created with the accumulated handwritten characters from different users. The font can be installed on your personal computer and used as a web font, but as of now there are only 1486 of the possible characters written. Also, as the site is in Japanese created by the design studio Kayac, the majority of the characters are of the Japanese alphabets (Hiragana and Katakana) and kanji, adopted Chinese characters. The English alphabet, numbers and some glyphs are also included.

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Interview with an Agency: Jennifer and Mario of Hugo & Marie

Hugo&Marie_ color_©StevenBrahms_small©Steven Brahms

Creative agency and artist managers Hugo & Marie is run by Jennifer Marie Gonzalez, who works as the representative and producer, along with her husband and partner Mario Hugo Gonzalez, who works as the agency’s Creative Director. Together they have carved out a sector of the design world, focusing on their carefully curated list of illustrators and designers. Together hey’ve worked with clients like Nowness, Stella McCartney, and Dolce & Gabbana to Microsoft, Wired Magazine and Converse.

Their dedication to the whole product has seen them work, direct, and collaborate on some incredible projects. At times they come across more as fine artists than commercial designers, which they say is an important part of their practice as well as for creatives as a whole. It’s through this process that they have become more than just a creative agency, they’ve situated themselves almost as a brand taking great care of every aspect – so much so that I think it’s fair to say companies seek them out for that “Hugo & Marie look.”

I spoke to them Jennifer and Mario to get an insight into the work they both do and how Hugo & Marie came to be.

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George Clooney x Yayoi Kusama, photoshoot by Emma Summerton

George Clooney x Yayoi Kusama, photoshoot by Emma Summerton

Australian photographer Emma Summerton photographed George Clooney recently for W Magazine, and the images are quite amazing. That’s because Mr. Clooney was outfitted in a custom suit by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who also created the amazing scenes he was photographed in. I love the stark contrast of these photos, and I also love that Yayoi Kusama is getting so much love these days.

You can see the photos and read Mr. Clooney’s interview over on W Magazine’s site by clicking here.

George Clooney x Yayoi Kusama, photoshoot by Emma Summerton

George Clooney x Yayoi Kusama, photoshoot by Emma Summerton

Listen to James Blake’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s classic, “A Case of You”

James Blake

With the holiday season in full swing my music taste tends to change, leaning toward holiday favorites like Vince Guraldi Trio’s Charlie Brown Christmas or J. Tillman’s albums. I’d me remiss not to mention Joni Mitchell’s Blue, a love letter to California with tinges of sentimental, seasonal sounding songs. But is it possible to improve one of Mitchell’s classics?

James Blake may have accomplished this. His version of A Case of You is a touching, slightly haunting adaptation that fully competes with the original. There’s this live sort of ambiance to his performance which brings a certain atmosphere to the song. It’s also interesting to hear a piano instead of a guitar and drun like the original, changing the tone entirely. I hope you dig it as much as I do.